Am I Offensive?
In today’s Social Media World, it seems like everyone is offended by everything. I think back to the sixties and seventies when nothing seemed to offend anyone. The other day I had an old jingle pop into my head out of nowhere. When I started thinking about the words, I realized that this commercial jingle would never fly today. See if you remember this one if you are old enough:
Hotdogs, Armored hotdogs.
What kind of kids eat Armored hotdogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks.
Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chickenpox love hotdogs
The dogs kids love to bite.
So, how many people would that song offend today? Even PETA would be all over that one! But, the Bible has a lot to say about offending people, and it has a lot to say about being offended.
First, let’s look at what the Bible says about being offended. In Colossians 3:13 we read, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” As always, the scripture doesn’t need to be interpreted, it is crystal clear. We must realize that those outside of Christ are sinners and will act as such. It never ceases to amaze me when Christians are offended by a movie or TV show. Here’s another news flash, unbelievers will act like unbelievers. Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that we should lie down and accept it. For instance, just last week on The View, when talking about our Vice President, they referred to Christianity as a mental illness. Don’t be offended by this, be outraged. Call ABC at (888)994-8384 and let them know that we won’t stand for hate language either. When Christ saw the money changers in the Temple He wasn’t offended, He was outraged and did something about it. But, this verse isn’t just talking about unbelievers, we must realize that our brothers and sisters in Christ are human and will make mistakes. It is our job to forgive them the way that Christ forgave us.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus gave His disciples, what we often call The Lord’s Prayer, at the end of it He said, Matthew 6:14-15 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This goes with what John said in 1 John 4:8, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” because remember that Love is Longsuffering, so if we love others, we will forgive them.
Here’s the catch though, sometimes it is okay to offend. Check out what Christ told His disciples in Matthew 15:12-13, “12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” 13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,”. You see, if someone is not preaching the truth, we can’t worry about whether we offend them or not, we are obligated to speak the truth.
Besides, throughout the scripture, we see that God’s word will offend. Because people want to believe that what they believe is right, and anything contrary to that can be offensive. 1 Corinthians 1:20-23 says, “20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.” So, the Bible is offensive to some, and nonsense to others. Nothing has changed, has it? Paul told the Church in Galatia this, Galatians 5:11 “Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.” And, then in 1 Peter 2:7-8 we read that Christ will be a stumbling block, “7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.”
Here’s the thing, we will be offensive, we will be hated, and we will be persecuted, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In fact, 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Notice it doesn’t say we might be persecuted, it says that if you are living a godly life, you will be persecuted. But, there is always a silver lining. Matthew 10:22 says, “And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” So, yes, you will be hated by every nation, but if you endure, you will be saved!
Isn’t it beautiful how, when God tells us something bad is going to happen, He also helps us see the big picture? He gives us a glimpse of what’s to come. So be prepared and endure. Don’t seek to offend others, and if you do offend someone wrongly, even if you think they just have thin skin, make it right. But know that, if you are living a godly life, and if you are speaking the truth, you will be persecuted, you will offend many. I want to leave you with one more promise. John 16:33 says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Always remember that He has overcome the world!